Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pay off Debt

9 Ways to Pay Off Debt
This is a good time to get back on track.  No one likes to be in debt and constantly worrying.  Listen and try out these 9 suggestions for getting your life in order. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sweepstakes Deadline Coming Up/ $10,000

Deadline:  January 15, 2015

Real Simple Magazine Sweepstakes

Scroll down and click  holiday sweepstakes

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Soroptimist Scholarship Update

Update on scholarship:
They received 11 applications from COD students this year for the 4 Live Your Dream cash grant awards.  Winners will likely be notified by mid-January.  The annual awards event will be held on March 19, 2015

Monday, December 15, 2014

Believe in Yourself

If you don't believe in yourself, how will you get a scholarship committee to believe in you?

It's Time Again -- $2,000

Your monthly NO Essay College Scholarship is due!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Kind of Music

Girlfriend Factor Scholarship / December 15 ,2014

Don't miss out on this fabulous opportunity!!
Go Girl! Grant
There are five steps to applying for the Go Girl! Grant.  Each step is just as important as the others.
1.  Print out and complete the Application Form.
2.  Prepare a one page autobiography.
3.  Provide information about your course of study and the cost to attain your goal.
4.  Submit three references.
5.  A personal interview.


Bank Account Tips

5 Tips for Setting Up Bank Accounts
  1. Look for student accounts with low/no required balances, unlimited check writing and low/no cost access to nearby Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).
  2. Ask about fees for bounced checks (writing a check without sufficient funds to cover the amount).
  3. Do not allow the bank to print your Social Security number, driver's license, or other personally identifiable information on your checks.
  4. Understand the terms and conditions of your bank account(s) and ask questions if you don't understand fees and charges.
  5. After your account is set up, consider using a program such as Quicken, Microsoft Money or to keep track of your spending.
Taken from Fastweb -- Student Bulletin

Ten Skills Groups Employers Want

Going beyond test scores and GPAs, students need to develop real world knowledge.  The following marketable skills groups are needed to survive and succeed in your future career.
  • Work Ethic
  • Physical Performance
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Teamwork
  • Influencing People
  • Research
  • Number Crunching
  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cash Desk Symphony

This is really neat.  Listen and enjoy.

Student Success Story

A former student of mine, Nancy Cornicelli, has recently opened a new business, The Facial Cottage.
A  number of years ago, Nancy had a thriving business as an Esthetician.  To our good fortune, she decided about a year ago to open her practice again.  Let me tell you, she is GREAT!!  I treated myself about a week ago to a facial and walked away feeling wonderful -- I promised myself that I would return very soon.
Using only the finest organic skin care products by Jurlique, she will pamper you with holistic facials and body treatments plus waxing.

Should you want to experience an hour or more of a very special treat,  schedule an appointment with her. OR maybe you you need a gift for someone.  A gift certificate would be perfect.

Nancy Cornicelli, Esthetician (760) 250-7229
The Facial Cottage 
70-377 Gerald Ford Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
Gate Code 248
Visit her website at:

A Few Suggestions

Taken from Life's Little Instruction Book
1.  Have a firm handshake.
2.  Look people in the eye.
3.  Say "thank you" a lot.
4.  Say "please" a lot.
5.  Sing in the shower.
6.  Be the first to say, "Hello."
7.  Live beneath your means.
8.  Be forgiving of yourself and others.
9.  Floss your teeth.
10.Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

Need Money for Xmas?

One way to earn some money is to clean out a few closets and sell those items that are just taking up valuable space.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Are finals stressing you out?

Little Suggestions

Taken from Life's Little Instruction Book:
  1. Compliment three people every day.
  2. Have a dog.
  3. Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
  4. Remember other people's birthdays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Suggestion for Life

Never deprive someone of hope;  it might be all they have.
-- Taken from Life's Little Instruction Book

Hang in there! The semester is almost over.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee BEans

Simplify Your Life # 6

 "Resign from any organizations whose meetings you dread."
   --  Elaine St. James

Stossel Essay Contest

125 Prizes for Students Totaling $15,500  Deadline : February 17, 2015
Essay Contest Rules:

Please write a 500-1000 word essay on "War on the Little Guy: When are there enough rules?"
  • Students must be aged 12 - 18 at some point between the start of the contest (Nov. 07, 2014) and the end of the contest (Feb. 17, 2015) to participate.
  • All essays must be submitted by a teacher on behalf of the student(s).
  • Teachers must be registered on our site.  (Please submit applications to me.)
  • Teachers with winning students will be notified no later than April 13, 2015
Go to the website and watch the video before writing your essay.  Since this is an essay contest, you might have a better chance of winning -- the average student usually resists applications which require writing.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Portfolios and Essays Due

Please remember that your portfolios and essays are due.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Simplify Your Life -- Tip #5

When you pack your own lunch you have control over what you eat and how much.

New Credit Cards

Accepting a credit card without understanding the terms can leave you paying huge fees and staggering interest rates.  Please observe the following:
  • Closely examine "Introductory Interest Rates".
  • Review all variable interest rates and fees that apply to your account.
  • Take note of when your payments are due and the penalty for late payment.
  • Understand your payment options
  • Know your credit card limit and stay below it at all times.
  • Check the fine print in your cardholder agreement.

Student Loans and Bankruptcy

Another compelling reason to apply for scholarships is that student loans are NOT automatically discharged in bankruptcy.  So, the moral of this message is don't rely on student loans to get you through college.
I know a gentleman, who has a daughter in college and a son in high school, whose student loans were $50,000 when he finished his master's degree over 25 years ago.  Now with interest charges compounding on a regular basis, the loan is $70,000.  He has a bachelor's degree and a master's  from two very prestigious colleges, but his financial situation is bordering on bankruptcy.  He is stuck.  The $70,000 is not going away.  If anything, it will grow bigger. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Simplify Your Life -- Tip #4

You know it's time to get rid of clutter if you just purchased your third book on how to get organized and you can't find it.
--  Elaine St. James

Scholarships for Unique Situations/Fastweb

Do you qualify for any of these?

  • Scholarships for Adopted Students
  • Scholarships for Bilingual Students
  • Scholarships for Students Who Are Children of Single Parents

Scholarships for Age 13 and Under

Taken from Fastweb bulletin:
  • National Spelling Bee
  • National Geography Bee
  • National History Day Contest
  • Jif  Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest
  • Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
  • Christopher Columbus Community Service Awards
  • Dick Blick Linoleum Block Print Contest
  • Gloria Barron Prize for Your Heroes
  • Patriot's Pen
  • Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

Monday, December 1, 2014

Simplify Your Life -- Tip #3

Figure out what is complicating your life right now, then figure out how to make it simpler. 
 --  Elaine St. James

Beware of Scholarship Scams

Taken From a Fastweb Bulletin:
  • If you have to pay money to get money, it is probably a SCAM.
  • Never invest more than a postage stamp to get information about scholarships or to apply for a scholarship.
  • Nobody can guarantee that you will win a scholarship.
  • Do not give out personal information like bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers.
  • Beware of the unclaimed aid myth.  The only money that goes unclaimed is money that can't be claimed.

Most Generous Scholarships

  • Intel Science Talent Search
  • Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology
  • NIH Undergraduate Scholarship
  • Elks Nat'l Foundation Most Valuable Student Competition
  • Davidson Fellows
  • Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
  • Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships
  • Collegiate Inventors Competition
  • Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarships
  • Gates Millennium Scholars
  • Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Simplify Your Life -- Tip #2

Go to your  closet and take out ten items you haven't worn in the past year, then schedule ten minutes to take them to the nearest consignment shop.  -- Elaine St. James

Important Scholarship Resources

From Fastweb Bulletin

Fastweb Free Scholarship Matching Service:
FinAid's Scholarship Section:
Search for Scholarships on the Web:
Beware of Scholarship Scams: and
Education Tax Benefits: and
Federal Student Financial Aid:
Eve-Marie's Website & Blog:

What Are Judges or Scholarship Readers Looking For?

Tips for having your application read:
  1. Be sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. Read all of the directions carefully.
  3. Highlight important info like the deadline, amount of the award, contact and any checklist that may be provided.
  4. Check for grammar and spelling.
  5. Be sure to include all of the required documents.  The average scholarship will need the completed application form, three letters of recommendation, personal essay, transcripts, FAFSA and/or tax returns.  Incude ONLY what they request.
  6. Do not fold or staple anything.
  7. When you type your essay, be sure that you have enough white space.  Your margins (top, bottom, left and right) should be about one (1) inch.
  8. Personally, I prefer to have the page justified -- right margin straight (no indents).
  9. Place the documents in the same order as the checklist if one is provided.
  10. Submit all of your documents in a 9 X 12 WHITE envelope.
  11. Type the labels for the outside of the envelope.
Remember, that your application is the first contact with judges and it is IMPORTANT to make a good first impression.

Scholarships for Community Service

In an other week or so, I will be presenting information on the importance of  COMMUNITY SERVICE.  This has become an important factor when applying for scholarships AND for being accepted to a four-year college.  Although being a top student is important, it is not enough to get you the big scholarships and into the college of your choice.
  • Segal Americorps Education Awards
  • The Do Something Awards
  • Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarships
  • Discover Card Tribute Awards
  • Echoing Green Fellowships
  • The Heart of America Christopher Reeve Awards
  • Kohl's Kids Who Care Program
  • Samuel Huntington Public Service Awards
  • National Caring Awards
  • Youth Action Net 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Simplify Your Life #1

You know it's time for you to simplify your life when you're spending more each month then you make. -- Elaine St. James

Create a Scholarship Email

Once you start completing profiles for scholarships, you will be inundated with emails from banks trying to convince you that you need a loan and colleges wanting you to apply to their college or university.  A designated scholarship email will provide you with a filter.

When you create your new email, be sure that you select an appropriate name for your site -- it should be professional.  Although your personal email may be cute and funny, you don't want to give out information that shows you in a negative light.  Something like might work against you when you are competing for a scholarship award.

Use something simple like  Give it some thought.

Most Prestigious Scholarships

Reach for the Sky!!
  • Marshall Scholarships
  • Rhodes Scholarships
  • Winston Churchill Scholarship Program
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarships
  • Henry Luce Foundation Scholarships
  • Morris K. Udall Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships
  • Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program
  • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships
  • Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest
  • National Merit Scholarship Corporation
  • Jack Kent Cooke Scholarships

Take Action

Friday, November 28, 2014


Gratitude paints little smiley faces on everything it touches.
--  Richelle E. Goodrich

Most Unusual Scholarships

  • Scholarship for Left-handed Students
  • Duck Brand Duct Tape Stuck at Prom Contest
  • David Lettermen Telecommunications Scholarships
  • Zolp Scholarships
  • Patrick Kerr Skateboard Scholarships
  • Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year Award
  • National Marbles Tournament Scholarships
  • Klingon Language Institute Scholarships
  • National Beef Ambassador Program
  • Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarships

Scholarship America ($5,000 to $15,000)

Scholarship America Dream Award

Scholarship America's Dream Award has been established to assist students from across the nation entering their second year or higher of education beyond high school.  Renewable scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student's choice.  The awards will grow in amount each year, allowing students to receive aid throughout their college careers.

This schoarship program is administered by Scholarship America, the nation's largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. Awards are granted without regard to color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age gender, disability or national origin.  

  • At least 17 years of age
  • Be U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, or individuals granted deferred action status (DACA).
  • Have received a high diploma or the equivalent from a U.S. school by September 2014.
  • Have completed or expect to successfully complete a minimum of one full year of postsecondary education by June 2015. (Postsecondary is aftter high school)
  • Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at the sophomore year level or higher at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school in the United States for the entire 2015-16 academic year.
  • Be studying to obtain an associate's or first bachelor's degree.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3,0 on a scale of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrate financial need.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Common Scholarship Application Mistakes

This information was provided by --Key Scholarship Application Information Quick Reference Guide.

Common Mistakes:

  • Missing deadlines
  • Failing to proofread the application
  • Failing to follow directions, especially regarding essay length and the number of recommendations
  • Omitting required information
  • Applying for an award when you don't qualify
  • Failing to apply for an ward for which you are eligible.
  • Failing to tailor the application to the sponsor
  • Writing a boring essay
  • Writing an essay that may offend thereviewer
  • Including exaggeration or lies on your application

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Be Grateful for What You Have

"Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have."   ---Jeff Dixon

Scholarship Essay Writing Tip

If you have difficulty writing essays, record yourself as you answer the question out loud and transcribe the recording.  Most people think and speak faster than they can write or type.  Write an outline afterward to organize your thoughts.

Scholarships That Don't Need an A

  • US Department of Education (Federal Student Aid)
  • AXA Achievement Scholarship Program
  • Horatio Alger Association Scholarships
  • Ayn Rand Institute
  • Girls Going Places Scholarships
  • Holocaust Remembrance Project Essay Contest
  • Americanism Essay Contest
  • AFSA National Scholarship Essay Contest
  • Red Vines Drawing Contest
  • Community Foundation Scholarships

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

$1,000 Scholarship/Monthly

Any student over the age of 16 is eligible and students simply need to submit a 300 word essay responding to that month's essay prompt.  The winner is selected by personnel.

I'd be happy to review my students' essays prior to submitting the application.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WOW Resume

For my online class:  This assignment is due tomorrow, Nov. 26

Review slide #2 (Is This a Resume?)  Write one paragraph if you believe that it is not a resume and why.  In addition, write a second paragraph on why you believe it is.

Add caption

"Ivory Tower" Is College Worth the Cost?

Money Management Tips

Scholarships and Paying Internships are the way to graduate debt free, BUT you need to learn how to save what you have.  Here are just a few things to think about:

  1. Pay yourself first -- Open a savings account and get in the habit of paying yourself before you pay anyone else.  It can be small -- a few dollars.  Whenever you get a birthday or holiday gift, add it to your account.
  2. Shop with a budget and a list --Shopping on a whim spells disaster.  Make a list and stick to it.  Ask yourself if it is a need or a want.
  3. Pack a lunch --  It will be healthier and you will save money.
  4. Eat before you go grocery shopping  -- There are too many temptations when you are hungry
  5. Take public transportation --  Is this an option when traveling back and forth to college?
  6. Books, videos, magazines -- These are all available at a library FREE. 

Find Scholarships with Fastweb

Fastweb has been around for a long time.  Fill out a profile and become a FREE member

Saturday, November 22, 2014

(CAREER BLISS) New Site for Information on Writing Your Resume

The site is not only a good source for career information, but will give you added material for creating your RESUME.  Please use the worksheet which I assigned and complete a professional resume for your scholarship portfolio.  

Assignment: Read the material on resumes and write a paragraph on each article.  This is due on Tuesday, December 02, 2014.  Your resume is also due on the same day.

Friday, November 21, 2014

8 Tips for Safe and Legal Holiday Driving

The following information is from Legal Shield:
Traffic stops and citations frequently increase around the holidays.  The best way to avoid accidents and trips to traffic court is to drive safely and know what to do if you are pulled over.
  1. Watch your speed.
  2. Never drink and drive.
  3. Never text or email while driving.
  4. Know how to handle a traffic stop.
  5. Be prepared for difficult weather.
  6. Make sure you have the right car seat for you child.
  7. Think twice before running a light.
  8. Follow at a safe distance.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Take Action

The semester is quickly coming to a close.  TAKE ACTION with perfecting your Personal Essay!  It is important to schedule an appointment with me Tuesday/Thusday 4:00 to 5:00 to review your portfolio, personal essay and your flashdrive.  Please, please do not wait -- I am ONLY on campus a couple of days a week for a short time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

7 Money Saving Tips for Holiday Shopping

Received this info from Legal Shield,  Hope your find it valuable.
  1. Beware of pricing that is too good to be true.
  2. Read and save a dated copy of the retailer's return policy.
  3. Do your homework on extended warranties.
  4. Check your bank account frequently.
  5. When shopping online use trusted retailers.
  6. Review marketplace seller rating information and negative feedback from previous buyers.
  7. Keep payment information secure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation

This is supplemental to the regular scholarship search which includes an essay, letters of recommendation and a GPA.  Give it a try, but remember that the easiest way isn't always the best way.  You might be lucky. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Money Managment Rap -- Smart Songs

Earning scholarships is a good thing, but you need to know how to manage the money you have. Enjoy the tune!

Celebrate the Holidays Sweepstake -- $10,000

Real Simple Magazine has a SWEEPSTAKE for $10,000.  The competition depends on how many people apply, but there is no essay, no letters of recommendation nor a GPA needed.  It is, however, a no brainer to apply.  WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE???
Deadline:  January 15, 2015 

Two $10,000 & Four $5,000 Scholarships

These scholarships are for Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry or a related life science field.
Minimum GPA 3.0 for Sophomores and Juniors
Thermo Scientific Pierce Scholarship Program  -- DEADLINE:  December 29, 2014

The Importance of a Resume

Although resumes are not always required for entry level positions (the type of job a high school or college student would want), you'll be ahead of the game if you have a well written resume to submit. Whether you are applying for a scholarship or a job, you want to stand out.  Presenting a resume, along with a positive attitude might be the deciding factor for landing that job.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Money for Nothing

Once your portfolio is complete, you will be able to apply for scholarships in a matter of minutes.  It is almost like "Money for Nothing".  Just keep telling yourself, "I want my college free!!"  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Interesting New Book

New book that I am considering buying:  Charging the Human Battery

The following is an excerpt of chapter three of the above book by Mac Anderson:

Chapter 3:  Fear Kills More People Than Death
Master success coach, Steve Chandler said, "The world's best kept secret is that on the other side of your fear there is something safe and beneficial waiting for you.  If you pass through even a thin cuurtain of fear you will increase the confidence you have in your ability to create your life." 

Your ability to confront your fears is one of the most important keys to staying motivated.  Because when you back away and do nothing, fear can quickly dominate your thinking and your emotions,

Everyone has fears and it takes courage to confront them.  Mark Twain said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear."  When you're afraid, you have two choices . . . to do nothing and let it fester like a cancer, or identify the persom or situation that is causing your fear and deal with it immediately.  Can it be difficult?  Of course it can, but the alternative to constant worry and pain is much worse.

Resumes and First Impressions

Having read hundreds or resumes, both as an intern at Stanford University and as the Coordinator of the Career Center at College of the Desert for about six years, I have some tips that I would like to share with you.  

Since your resume is the first contact that a potential employer may have of you, the visual is critical. Here are some tips to remember:
  1. Use white paper.
  2. Paper should be at least 20 lb weight for the average job, but for professional positions, consider top quality paper that has a water mark.
  3. One page for most applicants.
  4. Well formatted
  5. Edit and edit again for spelling and punctuation.
  6. Be consistent -- same font type and size; headings; dates of employment 
  7. Lots of white space
  8. Keep the sheet unfolded.
  9. White envelope (9 X 12)
  10. Eliminate unnecessay words -- use action verbs.
Remember, you want your resume to be read and you have about 30 seconds to keep the reader interested.  You can be the best candidate, but if your presentation is not neat, organized and easy to read, your resume may end up in the circular file.

Project excellence!!  You are in competition with others.

(Stay tuned for more resume tips.)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Zig Zigler Keys to Igniting Motivation and Success

Girl Friend Factor Grant Deadline

The Girl Friend Factor has a deadline coming up on December 15, 2014.  If you are a woman, twenty-five years of age or older,  this award is a must!!  This a group of wonderful women who are dedicated to helping other women succeed in life.  Don't miss out out this one. 

The Things Money Can't Buy

The Center for Ideas and Society is presenting a FREE lecture series at UC Riverside Palm 
Desert.  The lecture series for 2014/15 is about The Things That Money Can't Buy.  The address is 75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, CA.  Check it out! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 Quotes On Succeeding

10 Quotes About Failure That Will Inspire You to Succeed
Fear of failure is one of the main factors stopping people from getting what they want.  We can be so scared of failure that we don't even bother trying!  It's one of the main factors that differentiates people who get what they want and those who don't.  What if we viewed mistakes as learning rather than telling ourselves we failed?

1.  "I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that it won't work."
       --Thomas Edison
2.  "Remember that failure is an event, not a person."
       --Zig Zigler
3.  "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." 
       -- Winston Churchill
4.  "Just because you fail once doesn't mean you're gonna fail everything."
        -- Marilyn Monroe
5.  "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely."
       -- Henry Ford
6.  "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
       -- Robert F. Kennedy
7.  "Some people experience failure and give up.  I see it as a new way to grow and develop."
     -- Amanda Gore
8.  "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
     -- Bill Cosby
9.  "It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."
     -- Bill Gates
10."There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning  from failure." 
       -- Colin Powell

Monday, November 10, 2014

Attitude Makes All the Difference

Please don't let a negative attitude prevent you from applying for a scholarship.  If you truly believe that you won't win, you probably won't. Give the application and your personal essay everything you have and then frequently remind yourself that you are the one who deserves to win. 
Although you must remember that your application must look good; be free of errors; and be interesting to read in order to be considered excellent,  your attitude plays as big role when you start the application process.

Reminder of Saturday Deadline

Live Your Dream (the Soroptimist scholarship) for over $1500 cash is due this coming Saturday, November 15, 2014.

If you qualify, please, please apply NOW. Although I am not sure of the exact amount, it may be close to $2,000. There are about six scholarships so you are not all competing for the same award. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Value of Winning a Scholarship

I am still feeling very sad about an email I received today from a student who shared that applying for a $500 scholarship was not worth the effort of completing the application.  It just happened that there were five $500 scholarships and the odds were in favor of winning.  

Once your portfolio is complete, applying for the average scholarship should not take more than twenty minutes to fill out the basic information.  In your portfolio, you have several letters of recommendation, several versions of your personal essay, transcripts and all of the necessary information to submit your WINNING scholarship application.  

If you have a minimum wage job and you are working part time, are you earning $500 (after taxes) a month? There are many people who are working full time at back breaking jobs who do not earn $500 easily. Please, please rethink the value of winning scholarships!!  Your completed portfolio is your path to graduating debt free.  Believe that you deserve to be awarded scholarships and know that "small" scholarships are easier to win because many students want the "big dollars".  Receiving many of the small scholarships quickly adds up to a lot of money.

You know, growing up in a poor immigrant family, I'm still conscious of living without and the value of money.  So much so that I still stop to pick up a penny if I see it lying on the ground.  Five hundred dollars, to me, still sounds like a lot of money.  Please realize that even a $100 scholarship is worth the effort of applying.   

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Thermo Scientific Pierce Scholarship Program

Spring 2015 Thermo Scholarship Award   DEADLINE: December 29, 2014  1:00 p.m. PT

Scholarship Award Criteria:
Declared major of Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, or related life science field
Undergraduate degree GPA 3.0 or higher
Unofficial transcripts (If selected, an official transcript will be required.)

How to Get Everything in Life You Want -- Zig Zigler

It all starts with the mind!!

Professional Resume

I have noticed that a number of scholarship applications are now requiring a professional resume as part of the scholarship application.  That means that in order to have a complete scholarship portfolio, you MUST include a professional resume.  Please do not confuse it with the scholarship resume which is used ONLY when requesting a letter of recommendation.

For my students in both the online and lecture classes, I will be submitting worksheets so that you can start collecting and organizing the information necessary to write your resume.  This resume will not only fill your scholarship portfolio requirement, but will give you a very necessary tool when you are searching for a job. 

Live Your Dream -- DEADLINE

Live Your Dream (Soroptimist Award) deadline is just around the corner. This  award is for women who are financially responsible for another.  It could be as much as $2,000 in cash.  Don't miss the deadline.

November 15, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Difference Between a Winner and a Loser/Tony Robbins

Which road will you take in applying for scholarships?  Winner or loser???

Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Surely there is someone out there who has the requirements to apply for this scholarship.  It is $40,000 a year.
Check the video below for info and email me if you need help.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Girl Friend Factor Luncheon

Yesterday, I attended the Girl Friend Factor Scholarship luncheon. It was a very successful turnout and it great for me to see former students who have been "adopted" by the Girl Friend Factor,

Please to be sure to apply if you are a woman who is 25 years or older.  If you win an award, they will continue to support you until you graduate.

College of the Desert Scholarship

The COD Scholarship will not be available until after the first of the year (2015).  Please record it in your calendar.  You don't want to miss the opportunity because one application is all that you need to complete for the chance at fifty-seven (57) plus scholarships.

By the way, this is not a difficult application to complete and you probably qualify.

Oprah Winfrey Sweepstakes

Although contests and sweepstakes do not require a GPA nor a strong personal essay,  the competition is stiffer.  BUT what do have to lose?  Give it a try.

$25,000   Deadline:  January 31, 2016


Everything Happens for a Reason.

I believe that there are no mistakes in life -- only lessons to be learned.  We keep making the same "mistakes" until we learn the lessons.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Don't Quit

Giving up is not the answer.  Don't even think of it as an option.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You Are the Perfect You

When writing your personal essay, you want to project your true self.  Be real.  You are an expert on yourself.  You can change the way that you act and the way that you react to others, BUT your physical characteristics make up the perfect you. My philosophy is that if you are kind to others and smile a lot,  you will be considered a beautiful person.

$40,000 Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

This is the Cadillac of scholarships!!!  If you are an exceptional student and given of yourself to others, you might qualify for this amazing award. Please check with me if you would like some coaching.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Deadline on Monday!!

You still have time to apply for the Democratic Women of the Desert.  Can you use $500?  They are awarding FIVE $500 scholarships.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Special Note for the Lecture Class

REMEMBER to bring your updated Portfolio to class on Tuesday, November 04, 2014.  This is worth a hundred (100) points of the final grade.  In other words, you must have your updated Portfolio in on time or forfeit full credit on your rubric.  (You might want to check your syllabus and rubric.)

Your Essay -- Putting the Pieces Together

The time has come to put all of the pieces together.  Time to write your complete 1st draft of your Personal Essay.  I started you off with the ending -- why are you the most deserving candidate? Unless you know why you should be selected for a scholarship, you won't be able to convince the judges.

The next very likely question on your scholarship application will be to describe why you are in college and how you were inspired to select your major.  (Who or what inspired you?)  Also, what are your short and long term goals?

The next very important question -- Have you had a bump in the road (a special challenge)?  Describe it.  What did you learn about yourself? Has that experience made you a better person and why?

Then, the first paragraph was the last assignment.  How do you "hook" the reader?  Without being theatrical, how do engage the person who is judging your paper?  What do you write to make her want to continue reading?  How does it relate to the rest of your writing?  You have heard me say over and over that the first paragraph needs to be POWERFUL.  Remember your story needs to be interesting.  You want the reader to say "WOW" when she completes the reading.

OK, it is time to get to work!  I'm not expecting a finished copy -- this is the first draft of the most important document in your scholarship application..  Give it serious thought and make it flow. Choose your words carefully; don't repeat words; be authentic; and speak from the heart.

This assignment is for both sections of the Scholarship Class --  Section 8316 (Lecture) and 8318 (Online).  Create it in a WORD document.  Please email to  The deadline is Wednesday, November 05, 2014.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tips to Consider When Writing Your Personal Essay

While reading an article which was NOT about writing a Personal Statement, I picked up some tips that might help you when writng your essay.

  • Go against the normal order of things. When your audience can anticipate what you are going to say next, it becomes uninteresting.
  • When writing create a bit of suspense.
  • Cliches make for boring reading.
  • Speak the truth--be authentic.  Be true to yourself.
  • Share what you feel not what you think.
  • How did something smell, taste or sound?
  • Describe how something looked.
  • Speak from your heart.

What's Your Excuse?

This is a long video, but well worth taking the time to listen.  Your assignment before you view this powerful message by Kyle Maynard is to write two to three paragraphs on what is keeping you from applying for at least two scholarships a week.  What is keeping you from  completing your assignments on time?  If you are in the lecture class, what is keeping you from getting to class on time or having perfect attendance?

Please submit your response via email -- -- due on Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Have You Applied for These Scholarships?

Democratic Women of the Desert --Monday, November 03, 2014

Live Your Dream (Soroptimist) --  Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quotes from Current Students

 These quotes are worth sharing:

  1. I have no problem helping others, but only if those are willing to help themselves.
     2.  If I pay to go to college, what necessity of life will I need to give up?

     3.  I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. 
          It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.

The last quote was originally made by Takushi Shudo.

These are certainly food for thought.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quotes of the Day

Sometimes those who deserve love the least need it the most.

To be able to love a butterfly we must care for a few caterpillars.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What is Email Phishing?

Thought for the Day

There is always hope when people are willing to listen to both sides.

DEADLINES for Two Scholarships Coming Up!!

Most woman are eligible for these scholarships.  The odds are really good on winning.

Democratic Women of the Desert -- Deadline: Monday, November 03, 2014
5 Five Hundred Dollar Scholarships -- (GPA 2.0, guys can apply, don't have to be a Democrat)

Live Your Dream (Soroptimist) -- Deadline, Saturday, November 15, 2014
Several awards of approximately $1,500 each (CASH)
Women who are financially responsible for another person and have financial need.
Email:  Phone:  (760) 899-1072

APPLY!!  What do you have to lose??

Monday, October 27, 2014

COD Scholarship

The 2015-2016 COD Scholarship Application will be open again on Monday, November 3, 2014.  Please be sure to submit a "complete" application by March 2, 2015 in order to be considered for a scholarship.

Tell your friends!!  There is a good chance that you might qualify for this one.  It is not just one scholarship, but, in fact, there many scholarships available through one application.

If You've Never Failed, You Have Never Lived.

These people never gave up.  That's what motivation is all about.

Missing Assignments for Both Classes.

Assignments are not being completed!! There are about 40 students in both of my classes, but only about 6 - 8 students are consistently completing the work assigned.

Are you really serious about winning scholarships?  How will you pay for your four-year degree?  Are you prepared for ten or more years after you graduate of paying off student loans?

I'm here to help you submit winning scholarship applications,  but unless you are serious about your education and wanting to graduate debt-free, all of my efforts are in vain.

If there is a problem, come and talk to me.

Preparation for the Personal Essay (Sections 8316 & 8318 of the Scholarship Class)

In the next week you should be ready to put all the parts of the Personal Essay together.  To date the following assignments were in preparation for actually writing your Personal Essay:

  1. Why do you deserve to win a scholarship?
  2. What is your passion?
  3. Who or what inspired you to enroll in college and/or select your major?
This week I would like you to write about some challenge or "bump in the road" that you've experienced.  Describe what that was like for you.  What did you learn about yourself?

Since many students at COD learned to speak English as a second language, your experience is not all that unique at this college.  As challenging as that might of been, that topic may not be your best choice when your competition has expressed the same problem.  What is your story?  Write from your heart.

(This assignment is due on Wednesday, October 29th via email  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jack Canfield -- 1st Step to Achieve Your Dream

If earning a college degree is your dream, what are the steps that you need to take to achieve it?  What have you already done or are doing to reach your goal?

Ebola Scams


There are some Ebola scams spreading online -- it is spreading a very potent virus.

Check the following tips for potentially dangerous emails:

  1. Take a look at the sender of the email.  Many times the logo is authentic, but it is not a legit site.
  2. Take a look at the email address next to the sender --fake emails generally use an email address that doesn't match up with the organization the sender is claiming to represent.
  3. Keep your eyes out for misspellings.
  4. Never open attachments from any email adddress you don't know.

Update -- Pathways to Success

I understand that the Pathways Scholarship will not be available until December.  In the meantime, go to their site and review the eligibility requirements and the 2014 application.  Start gathering your necessary documents and writing your first draft of the personal essay.

For both of my classes, check with me if you need help with your essay.  Since we have not completed all of the instruction on writing a personal essay,  you do not have a finished product yet. 

The Pathways scholarship is a very coveted award, so if you qualify, make this one a priority!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

What is Your Passion?

When writing your personal essay, it is important to describe your passion and how it fits in with your major and future career goals.  The judges want to know what makes you "tick".  Start off by brainstorming. What do you really believe in and enjoy doing more than anything else?  What would you do with your life if you could become or be anyone you have envisioned in your wildest dreams? What is stopping you?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pathways to Success Scholarship

The Pathways to Success Scholarship will be available in November 2014.

Go to the website

  1. Review the requirements.
  2. If you qualify, print out eligibility requirements.
  3. Start working on the application.
  4. If you do NOT qualify, write a statement about what you can do to qualify next year.

See me, if you need any assistance.  This is one of the best scholarships available to students from Coachella Valley.

This assignment is for both sections of the scholarship class.
Online Scholarship Class -- Section 8318
Lecture Scholarship Class -- Section 8316

Submit responses to

You qualify -- a statement on what makes you a good candidate.
Don't qualify -- a statement on what you will do to qualify next year. 

Writing the personal essay.

Nice beat, but it is important to read the words.

Monday, October 20, 2014

With practice you can write the best scholarship essay.

Hopefully, this video will prove that you can do just about anything with motivation and lots of practice.  If this little guy can do it, so can you.

Money Saving Tips for College Students

Monthly $2,000 Scholarship

It is time to submit your $2,000 "No Essay" College Scholarship for October.

Who can apply?
High school students, adults looking to return to school, current college students and anyone else who is thinking about attending college or graduate school within 12 months. 

Introduction/Personal Essay

The first paragraph must be powerful!  You need to grab the reader's attention.  Please resist the temptation to begin by saying, "My name is Maria and I was born in Coachella Valley" or "I was born in Taxco to very hard working parents" or "I am a student at College of the Desert and I am majoring in Psychology".

Please note that reading essays can be very boring, it is important that you "hook" the reader immediately and engage his attention.  The goal is to interest the scholarship's judges enough to read your personal essay and to show that you are the one who deserves to win the scholarship.

With a little "tweeking", you might be able to use your college application essay for your scholarship application.  Spend the necessary time writing a powerful essay and it just might fit nore than one purpose.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

---General Colin Powell

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Personal Statement -- UC System

Top Ten Ways to Make Your Scholarship application Stand out

There is a close connection to the application for entering a four-year college and a scholarship application, but this blog is just for fun!

How to Land a College Scholarship -- Get Free Money for College

Just another five minutes worth of scholarship information.

Websites posted on October 13, 2014

If you haven't already done so, please check out the two websites that I posted on October 13th.

Live Your Dream Scholarships (Formerly the Soroptimist's Opportunity Award)

DEADLINE:  November 15, 2014

Awards:  Four (4) $2,000 awards

1.  Provide primary support for yourself and your dependents. (Can include children, spouse, partner, siblings and/or parents.)
2.  Have financial need.
3.  Enrolled or accepted to a vocational/skills training program or an undergraduate degree program.
4.  Motivated to achieve your educational and career goals
5.  Reside in the United States or one of the Soroptimist International of the Americas' member countries.
6.  Have not previouly been a recipient of a Soroptimist International Award.
7.  Do not have a graduate degree.
8.  Are not a Soroptimist member, an employee of Soroptimist International of the Americas or immediate family of either.

Please visit: to begin the submission process.

This is a fabulous scholarship!!!  Unlike many others, the award is given to you and you are not required to use the money ONLY on tuition and books. 

When I last spoke to the organization, they had not received many applications SO you have a great chance if you qualify.

If you have any questions, email me at

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Democratic Women's Scholarship

Today, Adree Sondag from the Democratic Women of the Desert will be speaking in my lecture class at 3:30 p.m.  She will be leaving copies of the scholarship application for anyone who would like to apply.
Should you be interested in applying, I will leave copies in the Transfer Center.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Another site for scholarship tips.

A little bit of this and that from students' prospectives.

Good resource.

1.  Complete a profile.
2.  On the top of the page, type in scholarships.

Writing a Winning Essay/Lecture Class

Please view the video and submit a list of six important points.  Due:  Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

The application for the cadillac of scholarships is now available.  In the next few days I will be writing more about this very prestigious scholarship.  For now, click into the link below to start becoming familiar with some background information.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Democratic Women of the Desert Scholarships (not limited to women)

The Democratic Women of the Desert have FIVE  $500 SCHOLARSHIPS available!! 

You don't have to be a registered Democrat nor a woman to apply for these scholarships.  COD students have won these scholarships every year since the awards started several years ago.

DEADLINE:  Nov. 3, 2014


$25,000 Scholarships for DREAMERS Now Available

Applications for scholarships up to $25,000 are being accepted from undocumented youth who will be first-time college students or who will transfer to a four-year university to finish a bachelor's degree.

DEADLINE:  Sunday, October 26, 2014  by 11:59 Central Standard Time 

This money can be used to pay for college tuition, as well as books and fees.  The scholarship amount depends on a young person's financial need and the cost to attend college.